KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 9 ― Come tomorrow, Malaysian youths will observe one of the many new beginnings for youth development in the nation.
Just about a week after new year, 120 youths will be among the proud Malaysians who will have the special privilege of debating various issues in the legislative hall of the Dewan Rakyat for two days.
Dubbed as the 'Malaysian Youth Parliament', the privilege was announced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak in May 2011, as one of the six initiatives of the Youth Transformation Laboratory.
The Malaysian Youth Parliament Secretariat when contacted pointed out that the format of the youth parliament was arranged to be as close as the real Dewan Rakyat sitting.
“There will be sessions on the tabling of the motions, supporting the motions, a debate, question and answer as well as the winding up session,” an official from the secretariat told Bernama.
However, unlike the Dewan Rakyat sitting, there will be no government and opposition sides, but the members will sit according to their respective committee.
“This is to avoid rhetorics and instead give focus on its impacts, that is, the motion of the proposed policy that benefits the youths,” she said.
The official pointed out that, there were nine committees altogether namely, the Socio-Economy; International and Diplomatic Relations; Security, Law and Integrity; Education and Careers; as well as Culture, Sports, Patriotism and Integration.
Other than that, Infrastructure, Development and Environment; Community Development and Health; Technology and Innovation; as well as Spiritual and Religious.
“For this first session, the secretariat received 29 motions. These motions were scrutinised before being brought up to the voting stage yesterday.
“During voting, the motions received would be given rankings. It is expected that nine motions can be debated during the two-day sitting,” the official said.
The two-day sitting from tomorrow was estimated to take 14 hours and would be chaired by the Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia and his deputy, Datuk Ismail Mohamed Said.
“Candidates to chair the subsequent sittings would be determined later,” she said adding that the following sessions were tentatively scheduled for June and September.
Though the sitting would be the first for its members, all the 120 members had undergone the orientation session for four days, and were also briefed at a pre-sitting session.
Meanwhile, Youth and Sports Minister, Khairy Jamaluddin told Bernama that the Youth Parliament would be among the best platform for the youths to voice out their ideas and related issues.
He also pointed out that all the motions agreed upon during the sitting would be brought to the attention of the Cabinet ministers, and did not rule out the possibility that they would be accepted if they had substance.
“Members of the Youth Parliament are chosen by the young generation of Malaysia without any element of fraud. As such, it is my main aspiration that they will take this opportunity to bring the voice and wishes of the young Malaysians, and not merely personal interests.
“In addition, unlike in the real Parliament, they are not given any immunity and all discussions and debates are subjected to the existing law,” he added. ― Bernama